Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Civil War Defense of Sullivan's Island

Marker ID:  
Location: At Fort Moultrie NM on Poe St, Sullivan's Island, SC
County: Charleston
Coordinates: N 32° 45.537    W 079° 51.419
  32.75895    -79.85698333


Civil War Defense of Sullivan's Island

As the Civil War progressed from 1861 to 1865, Sullivan's Island became the primary defensive position for Confederate forces guarding Charleston Harbor. Anchored at Fort Moultrie, by 1865 these defenses stretched the length of Sullivan's Island with a total of 81 cannon mounted from the north end to the south end.

These cannon were brought to the island from many places including the old federal arsenal in downtown Charleston, Fort Sumter, Fort Johnson, and Confederate ironworks in Richmond, Virginia and Selma, Alabama. Some of the cannon were common pieces seen throughout the Confederacy, while others were unique to the island. A few of those unique cannon are on display today to your left.

7-inch Triple-Banded Brooke

This cannon was designed to match the fire power of the Parrott rifle, and was cast on December 13, 1862, by John Mercer Brooke. Confederate troops mounted it at Battery Marion to the west of Fort Moultrie. The cannon reportedly fired a 140-pound rifled projectile over four miles. Although effective, it was costly and time consuming to produce, only three were ever made.

Modified 10-inch Columbiad

This cannon was captured at Fort Sumter after the first battle of the Civil War. Confederate defenders used the cannon until a Union shot destroyed one of its trunnions in 1863. General Beauregard, against the recommendations of his superiors, ordered the cannon rifled and banded, and new trunnions produced. The cannon returned to service at Battery Bee on Sullivan's Island, and was one of the most formidable cannon in the area. This cannon's modifications make it one of the most unique Civil War artillery pieces in the world.

Erected by National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior.